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Milton 59, Us 8, San Francisco 4, Theo 2, Maine 1, Maryland 1, University Of Pennsylvania 1, Cleveland 1, Caro 1, Shakespeare Uses 1, Shakespeare 1, Abbey 1, Henny 1, Dennis 1, Craig Hofer 1, Carole Groom 1, Cline 1, Woody Allen 1, Stephanie 1, Brutus 1,
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  SFGTV2    [untitled]  

    December 3, 2012
    11:30 - 11:59am PST  

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remarkable people come from unremarkable families. sometimes remarkable people come from remarkable families. that certainly was milton's situation . i did not know senator marks all that well, but i am very well aware of his judicial and legislative accomplishments. everyone loved senator marks even when he was a republican. and then of course carolene and her own force of nature feared by many, loved by more. i certainly was in that latter category, but i think we all recognize that milton learned well from his folks, and he learned well from his jewish
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tradition. he learned that the repair of the world was something that was all of our responsibilities. he learned a lesson also from the tal mud that says" not ours to complete the task nor it is to begin it" and whether the issue was restoring, revitalizing, increasing the urban canopy, or historic preservation, or affordable housing, or social service milton would begin it and begin it and begin it again. we first got to know each other before we ran for his first term as a trustee for community college when he had taken on the job of the executive director of friends of the urban forest and i am up in windy valley and lost a tree that had been with me for nearly 20 years and i needed it replaced and we called them and
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they were having a neighborhood planting, and he assisted me in getting the right tree and stand the wind and the traffic and all of the other considerations and he came up to make sure that the tree survived and thrived and if you haven't done it minimum 20-gallons of water for the first three years. that tree was about this big around, and not much taller than myself, but i followed milton's instructions and today almost 14 years later it is about 30 feet tall at about a foot in diameter and there is not a time that i water that true that i don't of course remember milton marks. about a year or so later on the board of supervisors i found
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myself chair of the finance committee with my trustee and able co-chair, vice chair, supervisor peskin and milton was in my office now that we have this trusted friendship. he learned well from his father and mother and the money raised for the urban forest needed to stay in the budget, and it was going to be a heavy lift, but he certainly delivered the message well, but i couldn't guarantee him anything. of course milton was going to put all of his eggs and money in one basket so he went to ever supervisor's office and often with ten, 20, 30 neighborhood constituents of that supervisor to make the ponent yet again, and when the issue came before the finance
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committee and subsequently before the board i had to write milton a thank you note because he made my job so easy. it wasn't controversial. he did all the work himself and that quarter of a million dollars stayed in the budget that yeemplt i think if milton was asked about the accomplishments he would be most proud it would immediately be the love of his family. he was a very engaged, loving, playful, creative, present father, and so adored nathan, theo, will and of course his remarkable and miracle of a wife abbey, and the love and relationship he had with david, caro. that's what made his life a success and he knew that so very well. if i
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have learned one thing in my years of the legislature it's that term limits are real. they're real because they come and you go, but i got the sense from milton that he understood that we have term limits for life as well, but how easy is it for all of us to life life so easily without thought or recognition that is time limited. if you look at the life of milton marks you know with certainty he understood there wasn't a day or moment to waste because the click is ticking on his tragically too short life. i would like to close with a hebrew prayer
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which is said at times of joyful occasions, but i think might necessarily have greater meaning at times of painful transition because of course life isn't life without the joy, without the sorrow ." (speaking hebrew). >> blessed as you and krawt creator and sustained us and brought us to this time and place. thank you. [applause] >> please welcome henny kelly, milton -- among many other
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things and milton's first grade teacher -- no, no. do i have that wrong? okay. thanks. >> i need to tell you that there was a mistake in his biography. among the schools that milton went to he also went to presidio where he was my student. his mother knew that if you were in politics in this city you should go to public school, so you could say "public school. of course i went to public school" and milton was a very interesting student, so i was thinking about what we learned in class, and one of the things is shakespeare, and when learned a lot of other things too, but shakespeare spoke of seven stages of man, and i don't have enough time here today to go
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that deeply into that, so i will focus on three stages of the life of milton marks as i knew him. milton was my student. milton was my colleague and milton was definitely my friend. at presidio junior high school at the era before they became middle schools he was a student in my english class. even then the complexity of his personality could be seen within the child there was reflective and mature little man. adolescence can be sortd and graded in the classrooms by their sense of humor. the immature ones are still laughing at the jokes from thid grade. why did tiger look in the toilet? he was trying to find
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poo. >> >> i have 12th graders that still laugh at that assumer but even as a 12 year old milton had developed a taste for rye and mature humor and sophisticated humor and he was one of the few when we read the "romeo and juliet" and really got it was that was so wonderful in the humor there, and there was a lot of humor, and it was all very dirty, and that was the one thing that got my students to really love romer and
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juliet" and the parents thought it was good and my students understand there were magnificent dirty jokes and words that they understood and their parents didn't. milton was one of the first that got it and help the other students to see you really need a good vocabulary and if you study the words that shakespeare uses, you can learn a lot of things that your parents probably wouldn't appreciate, but that you would, and so milton was fun. he understood puns. he understood every time i told a joke that went over everybody's head. he was one of the three people in the class that had the look in his eyes that said "i at least get it mrs. kelar". i get t we
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kept in touch over the years after he left presidio and when milton was ready to serve with the community we talked about what he could do. milton came to my house and talked to my husband and i dennis and he talked about the school board, not the college board where he was distinguished and twice e elected, but the hard politics of k-12 sfud board of education. what can you tell a friend that is wanting to jump into the fire pit? nothing that he would listen to. instead i took him to a board of education evening. we sat in the back of the auditorium and watched the
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tangled interweaving of interest that played out on that stage. milton decided to seek his service elsewhere and when i received a note for thanking him for supporting him in the election for the college board i saw gratitude of a friend that saw entanglements not suited to his talents. eventually we served together on the democratic central valley committee and i saw the school boy personality i saw years earlier and saw the joyful boy who inhabited the conscientious and compassionate man. he did this thought his life. he was such a serious boy but yet a playful man. i always tell that in my class he was beyond middle
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age in ninth grade. he was older than his father. he was more serious than his mother, and in that class he also was the most joyful, the most miswhich iious of all my students and when we were writing a mystery he had to write it from the point of the perpetrator, and that he had to plan the perfect crime. my little milty went to the palace of legion of honor and explained to them he was doing research how you protect this great art, and then he wrote his story from the point of view of stealing
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my favorite painting, so that he could bring it to me, and when i brought it to the palace of legion of honor they said "pretty damn good" and he fooled them and you know he used his family as a background why he was doing this, and it was very important, and he wrote a hum dinger of a perfect crime. most other people were writing about stealing something out of kitchen, and they were also writing about how to cheat on a test, but milton was stealing me my favorite painting. what a kid. i mentioned shakespeare when i started this little reflection on the life of my milton marks, our milton marks. since i was citizen teacher let me take you back to the
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classroom and shakespeare and the words said about the noblest roman of them all, brutus. his life was gentle and the elements subtle mixed in him that nature might stand up and say to all the world this was a man, gentle, compassionate, conscientious and funny and serious. this was a man. this was our milton marks. [applause] >> thank you henny. now, to milton's friend from a slightly later period in his life craig
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hofer. >> milton -- milton and i first became friends and 1992 in the frozen of maine where milton was two years ahead of my. i will grateful to tim dirkin who spoke moving at his funeral in august but can't be here today. i will be grateful for introducing us and setting up a wonderful friendship for so long. strangely while most college chums tend to grow distant after they graduate milton and i became closer over the years as they passed, particularly after we both arrived at university of pennsylvania for graduate school back in 1988. the reason for this is simple but power. it reminds me of woody allen's
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line "90% of life is just showing up". milton had a gift for staying there. he stayed involves in everyone's life no matter they were. before facebook there was a milton. you talked about his family and how important it was to him and i thought the connectedness was related to that family and family business in politics from such an early age and campaigning and engaging in people of every background, at home or some junket in some part of the world. all of these were second nature to milton marks. i loved david talking about the seven phone lines at the house and brings back the memories of visiting there. there was always something going on at
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the marks house on jordan avenue. his parents rented out rooms to jewish refugees and this was before cell phone and the phone rang around the clock and various languages. it wasn't uncommon to run into a complete stranger in the kitchen at night. i remember visiting one time at spring break and we had to sleep in cots in the limning room and all of the beds were taken by others. but interacting with all these people in all these different ways i think gave milton the confidence and the sense of himself to be his very own self, and at a time when politicians
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tailor their accents and adjust their verb contractions and their audience and who they're talking to milton talked with all people from all walks of life around the world the same way. he talked to my toddler daughters the same way as my grand mother and people that didn't speak english as first language and everyone the same way. everyone connected with milton. and because milton had experienced so many of these situations on the road, on the campaign trail, and in the family kitchen, he understood protocol and the way things should work when people like me should have known better. unfortunately my wife susan can't be with us today but she still laugh bs milton on our wedding day and in maryland. after the organ blast signals
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the service is over our ushers and ron who is here today and 4r-d them outside and on to the church steps and about a minute of back slaps and high fives is dawned on us only the wedding party left the church. all the gusts were still include and included ron's wife jenn and stephanie and mark cline who are here today and everyone was inside the church waiting for something and characteristically it was milton and figured it out and slapped his hand across his head like a v8 mothers and said "the mothers" and they went and escorted the mothers out and the rest of the gusts looked
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relieved and i remember why he was called the in house episcopalian and raby it might be interesting to know that well behaved ones wait for the esures and escort the mothers of the bride and carole groom first. now with connection to people. >> >> milton was curious about everything. when susan and i moved to cleveland after graduate school many of our friends wrote us off and milton thought of it as a chance to explore a part of the world he hadn't seen and visited often and he went to see the rock and
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rel hall of fame and he had his spells of self doubt from time to time, but fundamentally outward looking and very much his own man. most of you know and it was talked about he was literally the namesake of two two legendary political leaders and his mother was no slouch herself. milton could have went into a predictable role here in san francisco but instead he proved himself and school and the nonprofit thousands of miles away where his name had no currency. now milton and i disagreed about practically everything in politics but when
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he ran for the community college board i was proud of one of the non californians that contributed to his campaign and would have voted for him and probably the only contractor from my political party but i knew this because i knew milton wasn't going into service for himself but he realized he could make a difference to the community. and for all of milton's achievement and qualities family was always the most important thing. when susan's and my daughters came along he would crawl on the floor with them for hours and talked about how much he wanted to be a husband and father one day and that's why we were set r so happy when he met abbey and
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truly understood milton and became his rock. i will never forget the wedding in napa and abbey on the stage and raid yent in the dress and serenaded milton with "our love is here to stay". after the boys arrived i remember visiting their house and crawling around with them on their floor. i never seen milton so happy. i will always remember milton's wicked laugh and sense of humor and his bed rock decency and what made him unique though was his sense of connectedness and his concern for family and friends and everyone he met. even when he was sick this last year and
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sick with his tumor he looked past those concerns to the people he loved. at the 30th are -- are you union where i joined him and talked with a classmate about health and said he was going to do everything he could to get better because his sons needed to grow up with their father. even in these last difficult months him and abbey were determined to create has many family experiences as they could, so although milton isn't physically with us anymore he's still here with his friends and contributions he made to san francisco and every other community where he lived, and through abbey, nathan, theo and will, and the rest of his
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family whom he loved most of all. we loved milton and we miss him terribly but we will never forget him. thank you. [applause] >> milton never stopped advocating for what he believed that the kreakdz and maintenance of san francisco's forestry program was civic involvement and support and i think milton would appreciate that if we knock on supervisor's doors and do some advocacy since we're all here anyway. although milton didn't
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relish the work he had to do in these halls he knew it was necessary for the canopy outside to grow and thrive and let's remember where his legacy really lies and it gives me solace to know that his sons will see him imprint in san francisco every time they walk down the street. let's all look up and remember him this way. thank you. [applause] >> we get to meet milton's niece zoey marks. >> i was think about the past 19 years with my uncle milton in
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preparation for writing this piece but i was really stumped. how could i encapsulate such a generous relationship i had with my uncle in five minutes? as a last resort i went to facebook and the refuge for all bored teenagers especially late at night. turns out there was a wealth of communication between my uncle. and my topic and i was going to write about the wonderful similarities between milton and me and the first similarity is obvious. both of us were incapable of sleeping at a normal hour, night owls. i would have on my
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news feed and my cat box will open and one of the humorious remarks would come on the screen and i would just giggle and this leads to the next similarity and that being a beautiful dry whit, and whole some ability at laughing at laugh and the one liner that says it all. i am carefully cultivating my own sense of humor and i hope to make as many laugh as my uncle did you all and the one similarity i hope that we possess and if not i will create it as my uncle did is inherent sense of kindness and make anyone feel at ease aou